Florian Illies, publisher of Rowohlt in Germany, will step down “at his own request…at some later point this year.” Illies became publisher in January 2019, following the dismissal of publisher Barbara Laugwitz the previous August, a controversial selection at the time. Nicola Bartels will succeed him as publisher starting July 1. Bartels was most recently publisher at Random House Germany. Illies said in a statement, “I am leaving Rowohlt for personal reasons and I’ll do so with a heavy heart. After careful consideration, I have decided it is the time for a new beginning and to dedicate myself to my own writing.”
Gabriella Mongelli has been promoted to associate editor at Putnam.
At Penguin Random House, Iría Álvarez becomes director, global strategy & corporate development, moving over from Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial. Lea Stöger joins as associate, global strategy & corporate development. Stöger was previously with several Bertelsmann companies.
Jackie Dinas has been promoted to associate publisher, Kensington Publishing. In this newly created role, she will continue to oversee sales of domestic and audiobook rights while working with publisher Lynn Cully. Sub-rights sales to foreign territories previously handled by Dinas will transfer to sub-rights manager Susanna Gruninger.
The LAT interviews incoming Knopf publisher Reagan Arthur. Among the exchanges, asked about the “outsize reputation and legacy” of Knopf, she replies: “I think everything that’s given Knopf its identity comes down to people: the authors, first of all, and then the teams behind the scenes, from production to publicity and everyone in between. Even as we all adjust to different ways of doing business, that experience and shared dedication to quality will always be at the heart of Knopf’s identity and purpose.”
And on the American Dirt controversy: “I have a lot of different feelings about the situation. I think taking this particular book and publication out of the equation for a minute, it highlights a situation we’re all aware of. This isn’t news to anyone in publishing, that we’re very white and very privileged in some aspects — not all of us. It’s a myth that everyone came here with a trust fund — I didn’t! But there is a cultural dissonance between the way a publishing company looks and the American readership we’re trying to serve. It’s a necessary conversation and one that’s been ongoing, but this is amplifying it in ways that I think are important.”
Liz Gately Book Scouting is now scouting for new Danish publisher Gutkind.
The Mellon Foundation is giving the Academy of American Poets $4.5 million over the next three years to fund its poet laureate program. The Academy provides grants of between $50,000 and $100,000 to poets serving their local communities, often in unfunded positions. Mellon had contributed a $2.2 million grant to the program last year.